Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly

Three cards:

  • One is Rad: Surprisingly awesome card you’d be just as happy to see an opponent slam down as you would to rip it off the top.
  • One is Bad: It’s a bogeyman. Take a trip to frown town with these fun suckers, whether you’re casting or being tortured by them.
  • One is Sad: Often popular inclusions, these cards tend to let you down.

I finally played with the Pre-cons! Yeeeah. In honor of Commander 2013 Pre-con week, here’s a slightly speculative Three Cards Deep of some new cards from MTG C13:


The Rad – Curse of Shallow Graves

I prefer to call this “Curse of Giving Everyone But You Zombie Tokens.” WoTC called to offer me a flavor writing job btw. Seriously though, there are TONS of games and metas where a card doesn’t’ need to make a huge splash to be fun and effective. This is the only curse that might be playable without a huge commitment to theme precisely because it’s perfect in those environments.

It does deter attackers a bit; it makes you do funny things like sending with a bunch of EtB guys who have already done their job; and the tokens come in tapped so you don’t even care about them as the caster, because people may choose tokens instead of blocking, opening them up for alpha strikes.

Verdict: Oprah jokes with zombies- I won’t be making any of them (despite multiple opportunities.)


The Bad – Nekusar, the Mindrazer

You think it’s gonna be cool. I get it. You really do. The thing is, everybody else has the exact same great idea as you, and the first time someone actually tries to claim their Wheel of Fortune deck is original might be the first time I get into a legitimate shouting match about Magic.

Although the Grixis deck is bad out of the box even compared to the others, when any of the Nek engines come online, it gets oppressive quickly. Luckily, the power level in the Pre-cons is so low that giving everyone four extra cards isn’t that scary, but the four to the dome are. And losing your carefully-crafted hand of the best dregs in exchange for four of the forty-two stupid lands in your deck and taking another seven on top of that because of Incendiary Command… that is pretty frustrating.

Verdict: I foresee being super annoyed when people suck the fun out of many games with Nekusar the Painfully Obvious and Frustrating.


The Sad – Terra Ravager

I’ve already complained about this card, but if you’re new to the format you may need to be reminded why it isn’t good. It’s easy to look at the ravager and see a cute, punishing beater that swings for boat loads. I just see a medium-sized dude with a small butt and no evasion.

If I want fat that doesn’t do anything, I’ll pay three more mana and have it be life-sized gigantic:


And if I want to beat someone with their lands, I’ll save a mana on the deal, get evasion, and probably deal way more damage:

Plus it’s not a trigger…

It’s not just hot air. This guy did literally no work in our three games, despite making an appearance in each.

Verdict: That’s right. Even the crappy out-of-the-box Pre-cons shrug him off.

Weekly Lesson: Here’s an oldy but a goody – Creatures that create value when they hit and then continue generating value just by being on board are really good. Case in point, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician.